Safety is Priority One at the Bennett Family of Companies. That’s why it was important for Alicia Echols, Director of Safety and Compliance with Bennett Heavy & Specialized, LLC (BHS), to be a part of the recent Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) webinar to discuss the significance of “Making Risk Reduction a Fleetwide Initiative.” During the webinar, Alicia spoke on a variety of topics including a safety culture within Bennett, communication strategies, safety initiatives and driver engagement efforts around safety.
Bennett Heavy & Specialized, a division of the Bennett Family of Companies, was founded in 2012. BHS provides safe and secure transportation services for HAZMAT materials and other sensitive and highly secured cargo shipments. In addition, BHS serves Aerospace, Government Freight and Commercial Explosives markets. The division is comprised of 144 team trucks and 11 local and solo drivers.
With a large fleet that hauls classified loads across America, it is even more critical to maintain a robust safety program.
“BHS has a unique approach to safety. Our safety department and operations department work together to accomplish the safety goals. By working together, we figure out how to communicate effectively and learn to push risk assessment ahead of risk response. We don’t want to respond just after the fact when something happens out on the road (yes, it is important to address), but we want to see those patterns beforehand. It is much more effective to proactively identify and mitigate risks before they occur,” said Alicia Echols, Director of Safety and Compliance with Bennett Heavy & Specialized.
She adds, “We all are trying to make sure our drivers get home safely and keep the motoring public safe. This is why I felt like it was important for other people to hear what we are doing since this is an objective that everyone in the trucking industry shares.”
Some of the communication techniques that BHS implements to stay on top of risk assessment include quarterly safety meetings, a monthly driver all call, transparency with performance metrics and recognition and incentives to reinforce positive safety behaviors.
It is imperative for BHS to make sure drivers are seeing important messaging while out on the road. When safety situations arise, messaging is shared with their drivers to be mindful of that could impact their driving route. All important messages that need to go out to the fleet are shared via a private Facebook group, an email distribution list, and via a phone call.
In addition, the fleet managers in the BHS division play an important role in the communication process. After recognizing that the fleet manager (or driver manager) knows the driver better than anyone else, BHS identified that communication around safety could become part of a normal conversation between a driver and their fleet manager.
There is now full transparency between the fleet managers and their driver’s safety. When there is this type of communication and collaboration, they are better equipped to identify gaps and communicate risks. Also, BHS makes a point to encourage open communication between drivers and their management team.
To learn more and hear the recording of the recent webinar, please visit here.